So this is my bio page… Where to begin?
In the real world my name is Matt and on the internet, a lot of people know me as ‘tremor’. That’s been my handle since 1994 when I needed to think of a good username for a telnet chat room I had joined. Pearl Jam’s “Vitalogy” had just come out and my favorite track on the album was “Tremor Christ”, so that was pretty much it. That name worked out great when a few years later Quake 1 released and I’ve just stuck with it ever since.
I graduated from high school in ’95, and my life plans immediately derailed when I failed my hearing test for the US Marine Corp Aviation Program. Luckily I had also applied and was accepted for college at Cortland State. I had to pick a degree program so I went with History, because well, I was young and had no clue what I really wanted to do. In hindsight I wish I had chosen Computer Science, but Cortland didn’t even have a comp-sci program at the time. By the time I was a senior and realized what I wanted to do in life it was too late, I got my history degree with political science minor in 1999 with absolutely no intention of ever using it.
While at Cortland I worked as a computer tech for the school, things were moving fast in the tech world at the time. As a freshman all we had in the dorms was a dialup connection to the VAX/VMS on x5555 so we could check e-mail. Was good enough to get telnet and Lynx at least. But sophomore year they started getting ethernet into the dorms. I have always had a knack for computers and a knack for mischief – so I found myself getting into hacking. You’ve never heard of me? Well,
- I didn’t use “tremor” and I’m taking my other handle to the grave.
- I was really good and never got caught.
- I hung up my hacking gloves and went legit before I managed to become a headline.
So while I’m glad I never got ‘famous’, at the same time it’s made for a long, hard, work life since y2k. The aforementioned history degree and no ‘creds’ that I could claim made getting to where I am now a pretty wild ride.
I got my first paying gig at a kayak shop and outdoor store where I worked for five years. I split my duties between setting up their first real website and building a complete online store from scratch with being a store clerk and kayak trip shuttle driver, among other things. But, ya… I built an pretty impressive website and custom shopping cart software, which today is like… whatever, install a WordPress plugin or Miva Merchant, but in 2000 I think I was ahead of the curve.
I then worked another 7+ years at an advertising agency doing everything under the sun, it didn’t pay well and the work environment was pretty high pressure and hectic. While there I built, fixed or redesigned so many websites for clients that I can’t even count. The best part was all the various issues that would arise, from different hosting that a client already had, or a previous web designer that actually owned their domain registration, to websites built in some random guys, entirely custom designed CMS that just needed fixes and features. On top of that I did audio and video post production for television and radio, and even spent a few years on the radio myself at 97.9/105.5 KISS-FM’s overnight radio host “Matty J.” Good times, but eventually I had to make real scratch ya?
I landed at a software development and information security firm for a couple years working on some pretty cool stuff, some of which I’m not allowed to talk about 🙂 Anyways, I worked on a project with this one guy, but he wasn’t happy there and eventually left… then one day called me up and basically said, hey I’m working on something pretty cool in the IoT space, interested?
So that led me to Anaren – originally working on Atmosphere as part of the IoT Team, which is now defunct. But, before that happened, I transitioned to Anaren’s IT staff as the company’s Senior Web Developer so that I could also tackle a number of things that I just felt needed to be done in terms of websites, web applications and other integrated services. I would get the chance to write code, work on our corporate network security, research new tech, all sorts of fun IT work.
Then Anaren was purchased by TTM Technologies, Inc – and I managed to survive any synergistic employee purge that may have happened, finding myself moving up in the world as part of the IT Security Operations Team for Global IT. I’ve finally come full circle from hacker to defender!
I still find time to do some fun things like develop Minecraft plugins, write the occasional mobile app, and tool around with other software development.
That’s it really – I suppose there are other things that I could include in my Bio that aren’t related to work, web or tech… maybe I’ll get to that stuff another day.